South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan

Amendment Summary

This original FMP intended to conserve and manage dolphin and wahoo off the Atlantic states (Maine through the east coast of Florida), and to ensure that no new fisheries for dolphin and wahoo develop.

Implemented Regulations

  • A separate management unit for dolphin and wahoo in the U.S. Atlantic.
  • A dealer permit, for-hire and commercial vessel permits, for-hire and commercial operator card requirements, and reporting requirements.
  • Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and optimal yield (OY)
  • A definition of overfishing.
  • A management framework.
  • Prohibition on the recreational sale of dolphin or wahoo except by for-hire vessels with a commercial permit.
  • A 1.5 million pounds (lbs) (or 13% of the total catch) soft cap for the commercial sector.
  • A recreational bag limit of 10 dolphin per person, 60 dolphin per vessel maximum.
  • A minimum size limit for dolphin of 20 inches fork length off Georgia and Florida.
  • A commercial trip limit of 500 lbs of wahoo.
  • A recreational bag limit of two wahoo per person per day.
  • Allowable gear for dolphin and wahoo in the Atlantic EEZ (longline; hook and line gear including manual, electric, or hydraulic rod and reels; bandit gear; handline; and spearfishing gear, including powerheads.
  • A prohibition on the use of surface and pelagic longline gear for dolphin and wahoo within any “time or area closure” in the Council’s area of jurisdiction (Atlantic Coast) which is closed to the use of pelagic gear for highly migratory pelagic species.
  • A fishing year of January 1 to December 31.
  • Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for dolphin and wahoo, and EFH-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC).
  • Final approval
  • Implementation
  • Pre-scoping
  • Public hearing
  • Rule making
  • Scoping
  • Secretarial review

Species Affected